Brainchild of Molefi Makananise (bassist for the BLK JKS) , Who Are We Africa s a multi-disciplinary campaign that aims to highlight our similarities as Africans in the hope of changing mindsets around Xenophobia & Afrophobia.
L-R: Peter Peele (Co-Founder, iAfrikan), Molefi Makanannise (Founder, Who Are Africa & Bassist, BLK JKS), Tefo Mohapi (Co-Founder, iAfrikan)
Apart from changing perceptions around African identity, the campaign also wants to celebrate Afrophilia.
Afrophilia is the love of Africa, its derivative cultures and peoples.
Who Are We Africa was launched on 30 January 2016 at an event that saw an Afro-centric market which preceded the main event where we, as iAfrikan, were invited to deliver the opening address shedding light on our Report Xenophobia project and insights learned from it.
Who Are We Africa Stage.
Storm Drum Ensemble performing with Andile Yenana
Molefi Makananise welcoming Tefo Mohapi on stage.
Moving Performance on African Identity - "I have ancestry across different border posts..."
Explaining his vision and origins for Who Are We Africa, Molefi Makananise said:
“As multicultural as we are in South Africa, nationalities from all over the continent exist in their own clusters - there is very little cross-cultural social interaction happening."
He continued, "I came up with the idea to use what I know best; the entertainment business to spark these conversations and subsequent solutions."
Furthermore the organizers noted that South Africa had a bad reputation for being known as a xenophobic country, which, over the years, had abused non-South Africans verbally, physically and emotionally.
As such, the ongoing Who Are We Africa campaign aims to "task communities to become champions of social cohesion" through creating awareness and stimulating conversations around tolerance.
It is hoped that Who Are We Africa will be the conduit for opening up the idea of "Afrophilia".
Cover Image, Andile Yenana on piano at the Who Are We Africa launch.